I am guessing even if we had stayed at 809 and everyone came to visit at the same time, we would have lined up the sleeping bags and been fine. But it is a bit nicer to have a bit more room/bed/floor space for the times the kids and their kids show up. Robert has made our backyard lovely in so many ways. It's save and secure and dry.
For retirement, Daphne gave Robert what we are now calling the Southern 40. It is a 900 sq ft area behind her garage which has NEVER EVER been used as a garden, just as a dumping ground. This so Robert can expand his gardening skills next spring/summer/fall. And all Daphne would like would be a cuke or tomato tossed on her porch every now and again. Robert's been going down there to work the area and clear it of debris. He's pulled out the weeds, pulled out the ground cloth, turned over the ground, replanted Daphne's strawberry patch, removed the ornamental grass and cut them in to 4 clumps and replanted them around her bird feeders (Daphne wants to not have to mow back there and is turning the yard into a bird sanctuary).
We have been blessed with a very large screen TV that Jacob and Cara gifted us with years ago and it still functions beautifully. We now have WOW cable as our service provider for phone, internet and cable. DirecTV was getting too expensivie for as often as we'd lose reception due to wind or snow or rain. The one bad part about WOW is that it doesn't offer BYUTV. But then I remembered how to connect the HDMI cable from the TV to the computer and voila...we easily watch Conference as if being right there...better even than being at the Great and Spacious Building as I call it or as Debbie Lee calls it, The Mothership.
This is what I see each morning after breakfast:
Watching General Conference is wonderful, it is...but it's a lot to take in all in 5 or 6 sittings. So each morning after breakfast is cleared away, we set up my laptop and relisten to one of the talks. That picture is my view...and it's the best view there is! And yes, he is still in his white shirt and dress pants from Seminary. Every morning!
Dawn has friends who teaches seminary in her ward. This couple does amazing things and has been willing to allow Dawn to share some ideas with Robert. Robert is ever faithful and altho he said he'd prefer being bishop again over teaching Seminary, teaching Seminary is what he does. He is often at the dining room table (now called the Seminary Room, sadly) studying for the lesson but it has become studying for himself more often than not. Being retired is a good thing. Having Dawn connect us with things is super fun!
Getting phone calls often from Jocelyn throughout the day is really neat. Sometimes it's just a phone message from Honor as Honor learns to greet us. Having Marissa and family so close is a delight which we will enjoy for however long they live here (which I fear won't be long enough but I keep hoping). It was Hank and Marissa who asked if we could have Sunday dinners together each week. I was stunned but happy. Sometimes here, sometimes there. Skyping with Hillary/Jordan and kids in Florida is always a treat. Cara is so busy with her kids but there are always quick notes or texts or sometimes even pictures that she shares to keep us connected. We had hoped to go down to Evansville for their Monster Ears week but that didn't happen this year...maybe next. It's hard to believe that Cody is a senior and this time next year will probably be serving a mission altho I had hoped he'd get at least a semester of college in, allowing him to be on his own, away from parents, to get him ready for the mission. Time moves on.
So retirement is good and can only get better. I have learned to adjust my day to having Robert home all the time. It was difficult at first...a bit trying because MY life was disrupted. But Seminary has blessed that. He gets up, I watch the shows I recorded from the night before, or snooze. He teaches the hour, studies for an hour and then often naps for an hour...which gives me time to get ready and make a breakfast fit for a King. Robert wants to eat all the time. We are going to be HUGE soon if he doesn't stop this "What's for...Breakfast/Lunch/dinner" or in his best little Evan voice: "I'm STAAAAARRRVING!"